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The Syntax of Polish jeden ‘One’ as an Indefinite Determiner

Luca Molinari    University of Warsaw, Poland; Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia, Italia    



The current literature on Polish jeden ‘one’ focuses on its numeral status, though there is evidence that it is grammaticalizing into an indefinite determiner. This article provides a syntactic analysis of jeden in its different functions, trying to account for its grammaticalization process. Quantificational/adjectival jeden is hosted in the specifier of a DP-internal NumP projection. Indefinite specific jeden is inserted in SpecDP for referential reasons. Moreover, some occurrences of nonspecific jeden may suggest a reanalysis of SpecDP into the head D. These structural changes are in line with other processes of grammaticalization and follow the same Economy principles. This model also builds parallels with Italian and Italo-Romance indefinite determiners.

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